Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Farm kids and The Law

The other day, Mom was talking about something needing to be fixed and Ruth (4) said, “Duct tape should work.” Spoken like a true farm kid. :-)

Believe it when you hear about a lot of farm repairs consisting of baling twine/wire and duct tape. :-) A few years ago in SK a police officer saw something strange going down the road. He pulled the man over and got out of his vehicle to get a better look.
The farmer was pulling a grain hopper behind his truck, which isn't unusual. The unusual thing was that instead of a proper hitch, he was using baling wire. The officer stood and stared for a minute, scratched his head, got back into his vehicle and drove away.

I love farm police. Hehe. :-)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


September 21st, 2009

Today, I was praying and God wasn't giving me any answers. I'm not the most patient person but I was feeling so low. I needed an answer... even if it was just, “I'm listening, child.” Finally, I cried out in frustration, “God, where are you?!”
“Are you being honest with Me?”
I stopped short. No, I was not being completely honest and forthright.
There are some things in my heart that I am ashamed to admit to God. There are some motives that are so evil and selfish that I cannot bear the thought of Him seeing them. And what of the thoughts in my mind I have that are so fearful... and the lust that I battle with and sometimes lose to?
I, who am a child of God. When did I forget His power? When did I begin to battle in my weakness? When did I begin to love sin more than purity? What must God think of me?
But He has seen. My Master is Truth and He sees all of my heart. It makes no difference if I try to cover it with fig leaves.
There is such a shame when you realize you didn't have to fall. When you realize that you were the one who dropped the sword and looked away from God. That it was you, not Him that let the handclasp loosen. There is not a single justification that would stand the test of God's scrutiny. No excuse that would allow me to shrug off the blame. Not one! I stand before God with nothing but God's love to cover me. And I am trembling in disgrace and regret.

But get this, God loves a penitent heart. Today, I remembered what it is like when in God's will and care. And I came back. Sometimes, when I'm praying it's like I can do nothing but fall on my face at His feet and ask Him to forgive me. I do not get reborn or saved again. I had not fallen from grace. But I had lost something I hold very dear: my fellowship with God... the place where I can look into His face and not feel ashamed because there are no secrets between us. The place where I feel at rest and ready for what comes because He will carry the load. The place of joy and love.
It is so precious being friends with God, because it is not all fuzzy and warm. God is such a perfect mixture of power and grace, anger and peace, justice and love. There is much more to Him than that, but you, my friend, will have to discover it for yourself... If you wish to.
Sometimes, when I write, I don't want to be honest with you, the readers. I don't want you to know how I am sometimes. I don't want to you know how I get so angry at my little sister that I yell angry words at her. When I snap at my brother for being such an idiot. The times I flirt with a guy that catches my interest (for the record, I don't believe all flirting is wrong... but I believe it is when done without a basis of a serious relationship). When I think self righteously, “Thank goodness I'm not that person!” The moments I do not take each individual seriously and pass them without thought as I hurry on my way through life. When pride keeps me from doing something that would bless and encourage someone. When I see Mom's tired face and turn and walk the other way. When I say things that sound so spiritual and good... and feel that lift of pride in my heart that God would use me.
I look at these faults and many others and I don't want the world outside my home to know they exist. But the struggles, as well as the victories are what makes me who I am. No, I am not perfect but God is and I can pray towards that. Sometimes I despair of ever being the Christian God wants me to be. That I should be with His power, grace and love!
But there are two ways to all things: the devil's way or God's way. I could despair and give up. Or, I could give it up to God and say, “Here. I don't know what to do with it. But You do.”
I don't know how to be a better person. I don't know how to stop forgetting. I don't know how to be a great impact on this world. But I do know this: giving it up to God brings the greatest joy and peace I have ever experienced... and it gets better every day. And I wish more people could experience it.

Yesterday, I stayed at home with my spots (if I was yellow and my spots black, you could mistake me for a leopard. :-P ;-)) while the others were at a church and a potluck. I was seated comfortably on the couch, reading Louis L'Amour when suddenly, someone knocked at the door. Whoever in the world? I wondered, scurrying to answer it. It turned out to be a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses. One of the men is the brother of the former owner of our place. He is in his 80's and just a bit senile, which made the visit all the more interesting. We talked small talk for the first bit, then, the other man (who was probably in his 40's) began talking about the literature they had brought.
I find this group difficult to argue with. In fact, impossible. I find they think completely different than I do, therefore the arguments I could think of have no effect. Besides, I didn't really want to argue. So I listened without agreeing or disagreeing. But all the while I was praying for wisdom. I knew God had sent those men to our door and I knew He wanted me to learn something or share something. But I had no idea what it was.
So I waited.
I can't even remember how the subject turned from their literature to where the older man, Louis, was born. But turn it did and we were suddenly talking about being born in Hungary and surviving the first world war while your father served six years on the front. The horrors that made his hands shake and his eyes turn bleak with remembering, even after all these years.
This went on for several minutes... then, the other man shifted uncomfortably and blurted out, “That's why the prophecies in scripture about the coming Kingdom of God are so important! They are all coming true. The great wars and earthly conflict.” (Forgive me, sir, for not quoting you exactly.) He went on for a few minutes as I stood there and listened, then God showed me what I was so speak.
“But to be ready for God's Kingdom, much must happen in our hearts. We must embrace His love, holiness and goodness.”
“But the Kingdom! We must prepare ourselves for the Kingdom!”
Not long after that he told me that he and Louis were not getting paid for spreading the word about the prophecies. How they were doing their good deeds through this.
I asked, “But sir, are you bringing people hope? Are you bringing them God's love?” I watched the look in the man's eyes and then, I saw it. Perhaps God did not want me to tell this man anything. Maybe He simply wanted me to look in this man's eyes and see the pain and frustration of knowing it is not enough. That in spite of his good intentions, he is without hope.
His heart wants so badly to do what is right. And he believes that he is doing what is right... in fact, he believes it so much that it has gone a little to his head. I feel for him. I can't imagine being in his position. The dedication. The many hours spent spreading what his organization tells him is right. All in vain.
I pray that the man will have seen God through me. After they left, I felt so sad because I know I can never do enough to make a difference. Then, it was like God cupped my chin with His hand and forced me to look at Him, “All things are possible with God.”
All things...
My friend Abigail wrote this: “Faith is expecting God to accomplish miracles through insignificant me with my five loaves and two fishes.”
Expecting miracles is making me continue to lift this man in prayer. Will you join me?

Can you drop a comment about how God has been working in your life lately? Or if you have a prayer request you would like me to pray about? Perhaps God has shown you something that I have missed. Will you share it with me and other readers? Or if you would like it to be private, you can drop me an email by clicking on the envelope icon at the bottom of this post.
God bless you (even if you don't leave a comment. LOL! :-D).

Friday, September 18, 2009

Chicken Pox

I wondered if I was going to escape it but obviously not. Yes, that's what I've come down with. Will you please pray that all goes well as it runs it's course? :-)

Thank you!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A little bit of this... a little bit of that

My allergies are much better. I am so thankful! I believe it's a combination of our neighbors finally finishing the baling of their hay and my brother Zeke uprooting all the sow-thistle (an herb/weed I have problems with) that was growing outside of our room. Thanks so much for the prayers. :-) I felt them.

Last night was very close with lightening all around but no thunder. I didn't sleep very well but woke up feeling fine. Went for a bike ride and came back feeling very tired. I will be looking forward to a rest tonight.

Hunting season is in full swing and it seems that the woods are crawling with hunters. The girls wear bright orange hunting vests when they go riding. Someone advised them to refrain from riding for a couple months but that was unthinkable. :-) So sticking to the roads and wearing bright clothing seems to the answer.

I'm working on Dickens post #3... and reading about both the French Revolution and the American Revolution. I must say that Dickens view is definitely more unique than the other author's. But Gilbert Morris isn't a bad author for either storyline or style.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Courtney Wright -- awesome banjo music

Courtney Wright is a friend of ours (more specificially of my sister Hannah) and I had to brag! Enjoy! :-)

Charles Dickens -- A Tale of Two Cities 2

“I think Dickens was just absolutely amazing. You've been spoiled by easy reading, my dear.” So says my dear friend Grace. And she's probably right. :-)
While looking through several libraries, I had difficulty finding any books by Dickens or Jane Austen. I am not even looking for other authors, as of yet, but I imagine they're as hard to find. So I came to the erroneous conclusion that Dickens and company was going out of style. :-) But I found out differently when I posted on FB and on my blog.
My friend Cheri is reading “Pickwick Papers”. She also found it hard to establish a connection with the author but decided that it came with time. As with friendship, some of the best ones take effort to make it work.
Another friend of mine wrote that he loves Dickens; in particular this book. “But I guess I'm not so analytical when it comes to fiction. I tend to speed read (a book like that takes an evening) and so I take the general drift and many impressions.” Usually, I speed read as well. It came as a habit from trying to check out the books before my younger siblings got to them so I could hide the ones that weren't appropriate for their age level. ;-) LOL! (Big sisters rock!) But I found that after reading 200 books about the holocaust, even though I could tell you all about the emotions, the horror, the quick glimpses, etc, etc, of that period of history, I could not tell you very many exact details. I could probably slip through life with what I have, but I want excellence. :-) And excellence means reading every word... and sometimes analyzing. Of course, someday, when/if I ever read Two Cities again, I'll probably speed read. ;-)
Periodicals. Thanks for mentioning that, Donzel. Amazing to think of this book being printed piece by piece in a magazine. Sometimes I think I have been born about one hundred years too late. ;-) It would be fun to get paid for writing... and learning how to write with a deadline hanging over me would be a good experience.
But that aside, it does explain why there is an amount of drama that seems overdone in book form. :-) I was comparing it to Louisa May Alcott's “Little Women”, which wasn't fair because that story was printed in book form from the first (if I read about it correctly). Also, I have read a lot of Louis L'Amour's work and I find a distinct difference in his short stories and his books.

I think I was in chapter five when I suddenly connected to the author for the first time... and actually began to enjoy the book. It's been kind of an on and off thing since then but I have found several pages very enjoyable. But, I must agree with my friend Lydia in that the humor is what saves Dickens from being a total bore. :-) Yes, I am spoiled!
Here are a few observations again...

* * * *

“...and there was many a good south wall, not far off, on which the peaches ripened in their season.”
Can't you just see it? He does have a way with words that leaves such a picture in the mind.
“If you had sent the message, 'Recalled to Life,' again, “ muttered Jerry, as he turned, “I should have known what you meant, this time.”

Dickens almost considered this phrase of, “Recalled to Life” for the title of the book. It is a theme that seems to run close by throughout the story, as we see here. It lends such scope for the imagination. :-) It can be applied to many things: salvation, Springtime, release from bondage (such as Mr. Manette was), composing (for I sometimes imagine that all music existed at one point and we're merely bringing it to life again), or literally, someone who has physically died and is brought back to life by physical means or by miracle.

“She was the golden thread that united him to a Past beyond his misery, and to a Present beyond his misery...”

What a beautiful sentiment! I can think of several people and things that connect me with the good memories around the difficult ones. I think God gives us both... the pleasant and joyous to remind us how much He loves us and the hard things to show us how much we need Him.
“Sadly, sadly, the sun rose; it rose upon no sadder sight than the man of good abilities, and good emotions, incapable of their directed exercise, incapable of his own help and his own happiness, sensible of the blight on him, and resigning himself to let it eat him away.”

Sydney Carton... what a sad character. It is a good reminder for myself to use the gifts God has given me to the fullest extent that I can.
' “Doctor Manette at home?”
Expected home.
“Miss Lucie at home?”
Expected home.
“Miss Pross at home?”
'Possibly at home but of a certainty impossible for handmaid to anticipate intentions of Miss Pross, as to admission or denial of the fact.

“And why wonder at that?” was the abrupt inquiry that made him start.
It proceeded from Miss Pross, the wild red woman, strong of hand whose acquaintance he had first made at the Royal George Hotel at Dover, and had since improved.
“I should have thought--” Mr. Lorry began.
“Pooh! You'd have thought!” said Miss Pross; and Mr. Lorry left off.
“How do you do?” inquired that lady then – sharply, and yet as if to express that she bore him no malice.
“I am pretty well, I thank you,” answered Mr. Lorry, with meekness, “how are you?”
“Nothing to boast of,” said Miss Pross.
“Ah! Indeed!,” said Miss Pross. “I am very much put out about my ladybird.”
“For gracious sake say something else besides 'indeed,' or you'll fidget me to death,” said Miss Pross...
“Really, then?” said Mr. Lorry, as an amendment.
“Really, is bad enough,” returned Miss Pross, “but better.”

' “There never was, nor will be, but one man worthy of ladybird,” said Miss Pross; “and that was my brother Solomon, if he hadn't made a mistake in life.”
' Here again: Mr. Lorry's inquiries into Miss Pross's personal history, had established the fact that her brother Solomon was a heartless scoundrel who had stripped her of every thing she possessed as a stake to speculate with, and had abandoned her in her poverty for evermore, with no touch of compunction. Miss Pross's fidelity of belief in Solomon (deducting a mere trifle for this slight mistake)... '

Love is blind; love is patient; love is forbearing; love is believing the best; love is hopeful; love is tender; love is just plain stupid sometimes. :-P

' “Do you imagine--” Mr. Lorry had begun, when Miss Pross took him up short with:
“Never imagine any thing. Have no imagination at all.”
“I stand corrected; do you suppose – you go so far as to suppose, sometimes?”
“Now and then,” said Miss Pross. '

The more I read of Miss Pross, the more I love her. She is so blunt, so funny in her sincere way and so innocent. I would not want to be her in all of her qualities, but she is fun to read about and think of who she reminds me of. :-)

“Simple as the furniture was, it was set off by so many little adornments, of no value but for their taste and fancy, that its effect was delightful. The disposition of every thing in the rooms, from the largest object to the least; the arrangement of colors, the elegant variety and contrast obtained by thrift in trifles, by delicate hands, clear eyes, and good sense; were at once to pleasant in themselves, and so expressive of their originator...”

My friend Lydia tells me that Dickens books were what first made her determined to be a true lady. Part of being a lady, I think, is being able to attractively decorate your home. That being said, please don't come see my room. LOL! (I am the family's pack rat... if you want neatness, Hannah is the one.) Of course, (ahem!) not all of the ladyship qualities reside in decorating. Shall I quote Caroline Bingley? “There is something in her carriage, a certain air about her...” LOL! You can be the lady in Caroline all you want but if you have her attitude, all that lady-ness isn't going to serve you in eternity.
Still, I intend to keep a cleaner room. ;-)

“These, however, were only the exceptions required to prove the rule that the sparrows in the plane tree behind the house, and the echoes in the corner before it, had their own way from Sunday morning unto Saturday night.”

“Not only would the echoes die away, as though the steps had gone; but the echoes of other steps that never came, would be heard in their stead, and would die away for good when they seemed close at hand.
“...the wonderful corner for echoes resounded with the echoes of footsteps coming and going, yet not a footstep there.
' “... I have sometimes sat alone here of an evening, listening, until I have made the echoes out to be the echoes of all the footsteps that are coming by-and-by into our lives.” '

Another friend of mine wrote me saying how much he loved the imagery and echoes of the footsteps. I can see why. Dickens wording lends a sense of rhythm and graceful movement... almost like a song or poetry. I love Miss Manette's thought of the echoes of footsteps being those that are eventually coming into our lives. But maybe I just love to imagine things. :-)

I love how Dickens connects the word 'business' in all ways to Mr. Lorry! “his business eye”, “I am but a dull business man,” “A business man such as yourself...” “said the man of business.”

Monsieur The Marquis In Town begins with ceremonies involving chocolate. I refuse to criticize this chapter in the least! ;-) But, my word, I am completely in awe at the length of seventh paragraph.

“People not immediately connected with Monseigneur or the State, yet equally unconnected with any thing that was real, or with lives passed in traveling by any straight road to any true earthly end, were no less abundant.”

I do know people like this. Reality to them wouldn't hold up to a storm.

“Projectors who had discovered every kind of remedy for the little evils with which the State was touched, except the remedy of setting to work in earnest to root out a single sin...”

Wow. Dare I make comparisons?

“...the Spies among the assembled devotees of Monseigneur – forming a goodly half of the polite company – would have found it hard to discover among the angels of that sphere, one solitary wife, who, in her manners and appearance, owned to being a mother. Indeed, except for the mere act of bringing a troublesome creature into this world – which does not go far toward the realization of the name of mother – there was no such thing known to the fashion.”

Sometimes I wonder if one of the first signs of a country's demise is when it's not fashionable to be a mother. If a mother's love fails, what else can hold firm? They say the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. I think when kids arrive in the picture, life should revolve around them. They have been placed in our care by God almighty and they are the new generation. What a task!
Yes, I want a large family... but it scares me sometimes. This is Responsibility.

“The leprosy of unreality disfigured every human creature in attendance upon Monseigneur. In the outermost room were half a dozen exceptional people who had had, for a few years, some vague misgiving in them that things in general were going rather wrong.”
That made me chuckle when I first read it. But I couldn't help but feel the humor more keenly as I read on. France was in dire straits... and no one of the gentry was but vaguely aware of it. They thought that people could be controlled better with starvation, heavy taxes, punishments (that make my skin crawl) and fear itself. Leaders would be wise to learn that a 'firm' hand does not mean 'cruel'.
A bit off the subject but this came to mind:
I was reading a book the other day about a slave and she made a comment that I find very true. “The problem with being a slave, is that you get lazy [mentally] because you don't have to make any decisions.”

Monday, September 7, 2009

Faith vs. Fear

For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. -- Isaiah 41: 13

I've been dealing with allergies the past week. Our neighbors decided to cut their hay field across the road and my sinuses are rebelling against the decision. Haha. :-P
It actually hasn't been that bad until last night. I couldn't lay down for the longest time because when I did, my air would get cut off. That, of course, brought back bad memories of my breathing 'attacks'... along with many other unpleasant thoughts about what it would be like to get pneumonia again. And I began to wonder if this innocent case of allergies would turn into something more serious. That strain of thought went on for what seemed like a long time. Hours of night and early morning passed and I still sat in my bed, waiting until it seemed right to lay down again. Finally, I realized I had been 'hearing' a still small voice that was becoming louder and more insistent.

“I will not leave thee, nor forsake thee.... I will uphold thee with my hand. Fear not what flesh can do unto you.”

When God says to hide His word in our hearts, it is for a very good reason. In the most essential moments, bits and pieces slip in around the cracks of my brain and, like a sharp two-edged sword, strike to the marrow of the matter... and my heart.

I suddenly remembered that even in those worst moments of the past couple of years, I had felt God's presence. So real; so awesome; so holy; so loving; so just. There is no question of His existence in my mind. I know He lives and I know He loves me, as He loves all of His children. And I am amazed and humbled how He takes the time to remind me that it doesn't matter what happens, He will always be there. He will never leave me to battle alone, even when I worry.

Perfect love casteth out fear. -- 1 John 4:17
In God I will praise his word, in God have I put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. -- Psalm 56:4
When I trust in God it changes the way I look at life. It changes my attitude. Trusting means smiling at a younger sibling when they're being annoying. (After all, not only do they put up with me but practicing patience makes perfect. :-)) Trusting means when I sit before a meal, I thank God for it and the few hours of rest I got the night before. (I was not really expecting to get any.) Trusting means standing with God's hand in mine, face towards the future and eyes lifted heavenwards. Trusting means not beating myself up for not being able to help like my siblings do. Trusting means that I praise God after the latest cough because it didn't hurt and not worrying about the next one. Trusting means concentrating on each breath and feeling thankfulness as each enters and exits my lungs... full, unobstructed and lovely. :-) Trusting means not worrying about whether I'm going to sleep tonight or not, but preparing myself with a few good books. Trusting means finding peace... and expressing true joy and love to those I am around.

Trusting leaves no room for self pity.

I try to live by the minute, aware of the future but not looking to it. Because if I forget this very present time, I lose my purpose. When I think of the days ahead of me... whether they be filled with strength or weakness, I find myself anxious: will I place my faith in God? Or will I forget?
And then, I am back in the present, realizing for a moment that I have indeed forgotten Him! But He never gives up and continues to remind me. Sometimes gently, sometimes not.
I watched a movie today called, “Facing the Giants”. Some of you may have heard of it before. I found it to be a fairly good film and enjoyed it. Of course, it's all about trusting God and making God first in your life. How providential was that?! Right on time for what I'm learning.
Anyway, one line that really hit home was when the two coaches were talking and the mentor coach says, “The Bible says 'fear not' 360 times. I think God meant it when He said that.” (I'm afraid I'm not quoting word for word...)
I know I have written about trusting before, so I hope I am not sounding like a broken record! This is actually more of a reminder for me, but perhaps... someone... somewhere is discouraged right now. If you are that person, I pray that you will come to a place that is right.
We cannot face our fears and struggles alone. We must first start by asking God to take over in all areas of our lives and trust that He will do just that.
Then He will show you the way. I promise. :-)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Charles Dickens -- A Tale of Two Cities

Have you ever heard it said that with books, you can travel anywhere, be anyone and experience anything? It's true.

Reading is one of the most important things in my life. I think it might have something to do with my mother being a lover of books. :-) Some of my earliest memories are of her reading while my sister Hannah and I played on the floor with our dolls and Legos. And some of my best memories from my childhood are of her reading out loud to us. We would sit very quietly as she read “Little House on the Prairie”, “Daniel Boone”, Susanna of the Yukon”, “No Children; No Pets”, “The Lonely Sentinel”, etc, etc.

I can still remember reading my first book. I think I was about seven years old. It was Sugar Creek Gang mystery (which may explain my love for mysteries to this day) and it took me all of three days (I think) to finish it. Mom bragged on me so much for that accomplishment that even though some of the words were still a struggle, I kept right on... reading my way through many other children's books.

That being said, my parents never encouraged me to read many classics. Oh yes, we read “Little Women”, “Heidi”, “Hans Brinker & The Silver Skates”, etc. But while other homeschoolers were talking about Dickens and Hawthorne, we were talking of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Louisa May Alcott. I don't regret that. In fact, I really hope those authors are what my children cut their literary teeth on!

But now, in my old age, I really would like to be well read. And if that includes Dickens and Hawthorne and Austen, so be it. ;-)

So. I am reading “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens. I am on the chapter entitled, “A Disappointment”. Mr. Manette and his daughter have been reunited and brought back to London by Mr. Lorry... and are now seated in a court room, awaiting with horror for the trial of the Treason case to be done and over with. And we have been introduced to Jerry, Tellson Bank's odd-job-man who wakes up in the morning and throws boots at his meek and quiet wife who is, in his own words, “Prayin' agin' me!”

My opinion in one word? Dry. I cannot seem to connect with the author at all. He is way above my head. I'm not sure if it's just a lack of knowledge on my part that makes it so. Or, if it's the style he writes in. But I am hardly into the book,and since I'm not taking myself seriously, please follow suit. :-)
However dry as it may be, I have found several interesting quotes that I wanted to share with my blog readers. Please feel free to share your opinions and thoughts... I appreciate any input you may have.

* * * *
I love the beginning paragraph of chapter 3. It lends much food to my thoughts... after I read it yesterday, I can't stop thinking of it. “...every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. ....every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it!... In any of the burial-places of this city through which I pass, is there a sleeper more inscrutable than its busy inhabitants are, in their innermost personality, to me, or than I am to them?” I wish I could understand what he is saying more thoroughly. :-) I catch glimpses of it... I see the raw truth of it... and yet, the full meaning is still beyond my comprehension.

I find that many of the “classic” authors are very dramatic. Perhaps overly so. Louisa May Alcott was probably the best (especially thinking of “Little Women”; “Eight Cousins”) of the 19th century authors because she used everyday language... even some slang. Am I just too used to using slang terms or did they actually talk this way two hundred thirty-four years ago?

“But this time, she trembled under such strong emotion, and her face expressed such deep anxiety, and, above all, such dread and terror, that Mr. Lorry felt it incumbent on him to speak a word or two or reassurance.
'Courage, dear Miss! Courage! Business! The worst will be over in a moment; it is but passing the room door, and the worst is over. Then, all the good you bring to him, all the happiness you bring to him, begin....' ” (Chapter 4: The Preparation)

When Miss Manette is first told that her father still lives and has been released from prison, she... “said in a low distinct, awe-stricken voice, as if she were saying it in a dream, “I am going to see his Ghost! It will be his Ghost – not him!'”

And this part made me laugh because the description fits my sister Hannah so well. Not the red hair, but the strength... the protectiveness, the 'wild-looking', hasty, forceful description! I love this. :-)

Miss Manette faints... and Mr. Lorry says, “'But what is the matter! She doesn't notice a word! Miss Manette!' Perfectly still and silent, and not even fallen back in her chair, she sat under his hand, utterly insensible, with her eyes open and fixed upon him, and with that last expression looking as if it were carved or branded into her forehead....” Mr. Lorry calls for help and ... 'A wild-looking woman, whom, even in his agitation, Mr. Lorry observed to be all of a red color, and to have red hair,... came running into the room... and soon settled the question of his detachment from the poor young lady, by laying a brawny hand upon his chest, and sending him flying back against the nearest wall.
(“ 'I really think this must be a man!' was Mr. L's breathless reflection, simultaneously with his coming against the wall.)
“'Why look at you all!' bawled this figure...” (Chapter four; The Preparation)

“The faintness of the voice was pitiable and dreadful. It was not the faintness of physical weakness, though confinement and hard fare no doubt had their part in it. Its deplorable peculiarity was, that it was the faintness of solitude and disuse. It was like the last feeble echo of a sound made long and long ago. So entirely had it lost the life and resonance of the human voice, that it affected the senses like a once beautiful color faded away into a poor weak stain....”

That is a beautiful and painful description... Dickens doesn't mince words. He leaves no room for doubt as to exactly what he means. I appreciate that. Other authors I have read are very hard to follow because you have no idea where they are going.

“Only one soul was to be seen, and that was Madame Defarge – who leaned against the doorpost, knitting, and saw nothing.”

I love how he repeats this observation three times about Madame Defarge. Does anyone else use triplets while writing? If so, why? I do it a lot, especially when I am not thinking about what I'm writing.

“Tellson's Bank by Temple-bar was an old-fashioned place... It was very small, very dark, very ugly, very incommodious. It was an old-fashioned place, moreover, in the moral attribute that the partners in the House were proud of its smallness, proud of its darkness, proud of its ugliness, proud of its incommodiousness. They were even boastful of its eminence in those particulars, and were fired by an express conviction that, if it were less objectionable, it would be less respectable. This was no passive belief but an active one which they flashed at more convenient places of business.” (chapter 1: Five Years Later)
This reminds me of some people I know... The pharisees in Jesus' time and some of the more “conservative” Christians of this day. Their thought is that if they don't have a good number of enemies, they must doing something wrong. If people do not feel belittled, shunned or convicted around them, they aren't being the salt (in the eyes :-P) that Jesus expects them to be. My opinion is that such a belief begins and ends with pride.

“Death is Nature's remedy for all things, and why not Legislation's? Accordingly the forger was put to Death; the utterer of a bad note was put to Death; the unlawful opener of a letter was put to Death... the holder of a horse at Tellson's door, who made off with it, was put to Death...; the sounders of three-fourths of the notes in the whole gamut of Crime, were put to death. Not that it did the least good in the way of prevention – it might almost have been worth remarking that the fact was exactly the reverse – but it cleared off (as to this world) the trouble of each particular case, and left nothing else connected with it to be looked after.”

Interesting... especially with the mindset I have been raised with. Food for thought.

“Mr. Cruncher's eyes seemed to get a little closer to one another, and to interchange the inquiry, “What do you think of this?”

I love that. Pure foolishness mixed in with heavy, heavy material. It makes a person not want to miss a single word in case one was to miss some of Dickens lovely humor. :-)

* * * *
And that is the end of my observations. So far. :-) Again, please feel free to post any or all of your opinions regarding books, authors, styles, etc. I welcome them. :-) Classical or otherwise, what are some of your favorite authors and books? Why do you enjoy them? Are there some you can recommend to me? I try to have a fairly open mind so don't mince for my sake. :-)

Has anyone ever read Louisa May Alcott's “A Long Fatal Love Chase”? I recently read it and I can't forget it. I found it dark and evil... and in the end, the evil overcame the good. It was so strange. I don't think I can recommend it to anyone except for someone who is looking for good style, because Louisa May Alcott invariably wrote with good style.